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North Fork Bowman Lake Hungry Horse, MT
mini location map2012-08-07
45 by photographer avatartibber
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North Fork Bowman Lake Hungry Horse, MT 
North Fork Bowman Lake Hungry Horse, MT
Scenic Drive avatar Aug 07 2012
Scenic Drive108.00 Miles
Scenic Drive108.00 Miles
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1st trip
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Day 6 - Tourist Day: drive up to the northwestern side of Glacier Park via the outer North Fork Road (Camas Road) to Polebridge (27 miles). We drove out of the Park to Hwy 2 before we realized :doh: we need to take an immediate right out of Apgar Village. Fortunately the long line of cars at the West Glacier entrance were being waved through so we didn't get stuck in the long entrance line.
Once we were on our way, we stopped at the Camas entrance which is right next to the North Fork of the Flathead River to get some pictures. Here we can observe the signs of the 1988 fire as well. Our next stop was just before Polebridge to photograph an old house and some cabins. We continued to the Polebridge Mercantile where I bot and ate the infamous huckleberry bear claw, YUM!!! :)

We drove up (7 miles) on a dusty and bumpy primitive road to Bowman Lake where we can also see remnants of the 1988 and/or 2003 fire in the area. The drive is very tricky from Polebridge to Bowman Lake... At the Ranger Station hang a left and then a right (if you go straight the road takes you 15 miles to Kintla Lake which is about 2 miles from the Canadian border). You are on one very skinny lane with many blind spots :scared: that does have pull outs scattered about.
I'd seen pics of this beautiful area and it certainly lived up to its mantra. I am also intrigued with doing the 38 miles backpack/hike via the Hole in the Wall from Kintla Lake to Bowman Lake. Here is a link to one of my favorite sites about Glacier National Park; this references Brown Pass/Hole in the Wall: (Trust me, you will love this site, the photography is OUTSTANDING!).

There are four additional lakes (Akolaka and 3 Quartz Lakes) in the area but they aren't easy to get to and you can only get there on foot. Apparently there is a 13 mile loop whereby you can see them all :) . Here is a trip report I found: We really enjoyed our time at Bowman Lake (fed ENTIRELY by snowmelt :o ). We finished off the pizza from the Red Jammer in the picnic area and then headed out for our drive to Columbia Falls.

But FIRST, we had to stop at a place that advertised everything huckleberry as we drove to Polebridge: We were treated to a huckleberry malt. YUMMY! It's a unique place like the mercantile down the road but doesn't get nearly the visitation. We were advised not to take the washboard road to Columbia Falls but I don't think he realized he was talking to a former Montanan :D so off we went. The road was indeed washboard but it was nice and wide and followed the Flathead River for much of it and soon we were back on the pavement.

42 miles later we were at Columbia Falls. We found a UPS store to ship our bear spray back to Phx before heading to Whitefish (10 miles). Ambika and Guru had both been to Whitefish before and of course I lived there for a while in the mid-70s. My mom also had owned an art gallery. My dad had an interest in the Hanging Tree Bar which was part of the Cadillac Hotel and now is the Great Northern Brewery where we stopped to imbibe in a nice huckleberry draft beer. Temp was in the mid 90s :sweat: while we walked main street.

Our next stop was the Huckleberry Patch in Hungry Horse, MT (15 miles from Whitefish). I am trying to decide where I want my ashes to go when I die; I think I may have found the place... ;) "Huckleberry Heaven". Needless to say, I loaded up with as much stuff as I thot I could carry on the plane. Leaving with a big ole grin on my face :DANCE: .
We headed up to Hungry Horse Dam (5 miles). I hadn't been to Hungry Horse Dam since probably the early 70s. I had recently scanned some pics of my Gma, mom, dad and their friends at the dam in 1955 (just before I was born Image Image. We drove over the dam and alongside the Reservoir where we spotted what we thot were two eagles nest. When I got home and got a closer look, it was Osprey. At the last nest overlooking the Reservoir we all got out and took pics and I took some video. We did have to use the zoom feature a little.

Next stop (15 miles) would be for dinner in West Glaicer at the infamous Belton Chalet known for its excellent food. Well it was full and too hot anyway so we went to the restaurant next door, The Glacier Highland and had 3 meals that would have probably been the cost of one at the Belton Chalet. And that was the end of our Tourist Day as we now had to go back to Apgar Village and pack for our early start the following day.

For some video: Don't forget to change your quality setting to HD for better viewing.
Throwing a Wendy
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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